Best of Houston

The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Expense-Account Restaurants

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9. Up Restaurant

Although Up owner Haidar Barbouti claims to "fight back against trendy food," there are still plenty of "trendy" dishes to be found at this Highland Village aerie. Perched two stories above Westheimer, Up provides some of the most stunning 360-degree views in town as well as trendier dishes such as a snapper carpaccio in yuzu with a fennel and dill salad or a short rib pizza made with 00 flour and topped with arugula, fontina and Roquefort. The biggest bucks come into play with its USDA Prime steaks, however, which hover near the priciest end of the menu.

8. Brasserie 19

A playground for Houston's rich and famous, Brasserie 19 nevertheless has the food to match the crowds and the hype, turning out classic French and Belgian staples like steak frites and cassoulet and serving an impressive list of beers and wines to match. The sleek bar is the place to be if you're young and single, while the restaurant's main floor is a gathering point for socialites and food-lovers alike. The egalitarian patio is the most pleasant spot to dine, however, with far less noise and a pretty view of the brightly lit River Oaks Theatre marquee across West Gray.

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Katharine Shilcutt